BY BRIAN MASSUMI It is hard not to despair. The enormity of the problems dwarf the human scale, even though it is we, humans, who have created them. We seem to have fallen under the wheels of an economic system whose signature products are inexorably increasing social inequality, periodic crises from which only the top … More Occupy Surplus-Value: Toward the Revaluation of Value
JONATHAN P. EBURNEPennsylvania State University When I was in graduate school, an acquaintance of mine introduced me to a movie called Ruggles of Red Gap. Released by Paramount in 1935, the film—a quirky comedy—features the Canadian actress Maude Eburne (no relation), who made a career playing characters named “Ma.” Ruggles of Red Gap is perhaps … More Outsider Theory, Ruggles of Red Gap, and unforgetting: On the unfinished, ongoing work of political and intellectual struggle.
BY MICHAEL SCHUMACHERExcerpt from The Contest: The 1968 Election and the War for America’s Soul***** A political campaign is a dehumanizing rite. Its only purpose is power, and tends to bring out the worst in men. Repetition, exhaustion, anxiety, and pressure must be endured cheerfully. Instincts have to be disguised. Sleep and privacy are elusive. … More "History is nothing if not a collection of antecedents, one leading to the next": Michael Schumacher on the 1968 election and the war for America’s soul.
BY FRANCES GUERIN I recall the day The Truth Is Always Grey was conceived. I was visiting the Alberto Giacometti retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Fall 2007—a huge exhibition in which Giacometti’s portraits, sculptures, and busts were placed in dialogue to shed new light on the oeuvre. As I walked from room to room, … More A look behind the challenging, provocative, fascinating history of the color grey.
BY SHEILA WATT-CLOUTIER The world has come to know the wildlife of the Arctic more than its people: The Inuit. For two decades my life’s work, which includes elected positions with an international mandate to protect the rights and interests of our people of the circumpolar world, has been to work diligently to put a … More Earth Day 2018: Facing the greatest human-rights challenge of our time.
BY JAMES P. LENFESTEYExcerpts from the introduction to If Bees Are Few It is said there are twenty thousand species of bees in the world, a genus fifty million years old, but in the fertile imagination of the world’s poets, there is no beginning and no end to bee buzz. As Rilke wrote, poets are … More Let’s hear it for the bee.
Image by Toby Thompson. Image by Echo Helstrom. BY TOBY THOMPSON Echo Star Helmstrom, widely thought to have been the inspiration for Bob Dylan’s song “Girl from the North Country,” died on January 15th. She was 75 and had been my friend for nearly 50 years. She had a combination of vulnerability and toughness that … More Lookin’ to get silly in Hibbing: Toby Thompson on Echo Star Helstrom, the "Girl from the North Country."
The first complete English translation of Orikuchi Shinobu’s masterwork, The Book of the Dead is a sweeping historical romance telling a gothic tale of love between a noblewoman and a ghost in eighth-century Japan. Orikuchi is often considered one of the fathers of Japanese folklore studies, and this is the most important novel of his … More The Book of the Dead: Longlist for the 2017 National Translation Award in Prose
BY VIDAR SUNDSTØL In the old days in Norway—up until the end of the 19th century—the night between the 23rd and 24th of June was the night to harvest any kind of plants that were supposed to hold healing or magical powers. At the same time it was a dangerous night to be wandering around … More Midsummer Eve: A gateway to another, sometimes dangerous, world.
BY SARAH STONICH Upon the paperback release of Shelter: Off the Grid in the Mostly Magnetic North, author Sarah Stonich answers questions posed by BookFox. Q. Does writing energize or exhaust you? Both. I’d compare a good session of writing to a long day of stone-stacking or gardening. They are very similar in that you’re … More Sarah Stonich on memoir writing, truth, and Shelter.